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Yifan Hou vs Fabiano Caruana
Reykjavik Open (2012), Reykjavik ISL, rd 9, Mar-13
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It seems impossible to keep black from eliminating the two white pawns.
Mar-14-12  VinnyRoo2002: Fantastic post boomie. Maybe my favorite post in the history of
Mar-14-12  Strongest Force: Even before all of the above, white had a middle game type of move (Rg3) that the comps considered a easy win. The problem is that no human could understand it. Anyone know what position I am talking about?
Premium Chessgames Member

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Maybe this one, <Stongest Force> 34 Rg3 instead of 34 Nxd6

Not easy to see the point, since White does not crash through, but the attack on g7 may be the key.

Black cannot simplify for example with 34...Nxf2 35 Qxf2 Rxc4 because of 36 Qf6

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 41.♘xf7 isn't the greatest move. It drops half a point.

As found on ChessBase, white can win by playing 41.♘ac4 ♘xe4 42.♘a5 ♗d5 43.♖d3 ♘f6 44.♖xd5 ♘xd5 45.♘b7 ♖xd7 46.♘xd7 leaves white up a knight for a pawn, and should be winning.

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♔♘♘♙♙ vs. ♔♘♙♙♙

Superior (White): 54.5%
Draw: Happens 45.5%
Inferior (Black): 0.0%

Endgame Explorer: NNPP vs NPPP

Mar-14-12  Jim Bartle: 45% draws from the type of position (same pieces) above doesn't sound like a clear win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < Jim Bartle: 45% draws from the type of position (same pieces) above doesn't sound like a clear win. >

It doesn't, but black has no chances to win.

In order for white to increase their chances of winning, they have to exchange a pair of knights, where the winning percentage is 71.4%, and the draw is 23.8% (and a small 4.8% for the pawns).

In order for black to increase their chances of drawing, they have to exchange pawns. One pawn off for each side is 55.6% drawn, and 44.4% won for the superior. Exchange white's last pawn, and is drawn all the time. Here are the games, if you're curious.

W Muhren vs P Laihonen, 2005

A Nguyen vs E Bagamasbad, 2007

K Arakhamia-Grant vs Hebden, 2007

J Van De Mortel vs Serper, 2008

K Belzo vs E Iturrizaga, 2008

And lastly, what I found in ♔♘ vs. ♔♙ was the knight won!

J Nogueiras vs M Gongora, 2001

Mar-14-12  Jim Bartle: Thanks. Sounds incredibly difficult, so I don't see why people are saying it wsa a clear winning line for Hou.
Mar-14-12  haydn20: I thought Black was OK in the opening if a bit passive. His real troubles begin with 30...Qc2. The patzerish 30...Qa1+ 31. Kh2 Qd1 32. Qb3 Qa1 seems almost to force a draw, since if White's Q abandons the c4N Black has Rxc4. I do agree that 34. Rg3 looks crusing.
Mar-14-12  Boomie: <VinnyRoo2002: Fantastic post boomie. Maybe my favorite post in the history of>

Thank you, Vinny. The best games bring out the best in us.

Mar-14-12  Strongest Force: <tamar> <everyone> try 36.Rg3 with engines and see if black can defend.
Mar-14-12  Boomie: <Strongest Force: <tamar> <everyone> try 36.Rg3 with engines and see if black can defend.>

The final position is obviously a draw.

36. Rg3 Nxe4 37. Nxe4 Qxe4 38. Qf6 g6 39. Nxe5 Qf5 40. Ng4 Qxd5 41. Nxh6+ Kh7 42. Rf3 Be6 43. Nf5 Bxf5 44. Rf4 g5 45. Qxg5 Qe5 46. Qxf5+ Qxf5 47. Rxf5 (0.55/36 Houdini)

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Mar-14-12  Strongest Force: <Boomie> sorry to keep beating this horse but somewhere in the 30's the comps thought Rg3 was a winning move. All Rg3's must be tried. Just for my sanity sake if nothing else. :)
Mar-14-12  Boomie: <Strongest Force> Looks like 34. Rg3 is the ticket.
Mar-14-12  Boomie: -> Finding the Fritzy 38. Ra2 is a tall order.

34. Rg3 Nf4 35. Qxd6 Ne2 36. Qxd7 Rxc4 37. Ra3 Rc8 38. Ra2 Qc1

(38...Qxa2 39. Qxc8+ Kh7 40. Nf3 Qa3 41. Qf5+ Kg8 42. Qxe5)

39. Nf3 Nd4 40. Nxe5 Rf8

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Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Boomie> But White has the alternative 38 d6, which is almost as good.

In that case, however, she would have to see that 38...Qc1 (threat ...Qg1 mate) 39 Ra1! Qc2 40 Ra2! Qc1 41 Nf3, so it is nearly the same difficulty.

Mar-14-12  Boomie: <tamar: <Boomie> But White has the alternative 38 d6...>

Yeah. My mind yearned to play d6 at various points. However with the protected passed pawn, there doesn't seem to be any hurry.

Mar-14-12  Lupara: Interesting video with Caruana analyzing the game with Hou. The analysis starts at 4:05. Of course his analysis does not have the benefit of Houdini or Rybka.

Also, he is asked about the challenges of playing in opens near the end of the video. I think that may have been in response to the comments made by Nakamura on twitter.

For a 19 year-old, he seems mature and serious.

Mar-14-12  Lupara: Somewhat surprising to see a game that ended in a draw have two pages of kibitzing. But of course, this was no ordinary draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Caruana casts a little light on 34 Rg3, although he does not seem to have analyzed it.

He was very concerned after 30 Re3 when he could not find any good ideas for Black.

Eventually he played 30...Qc2, but said "I'm just holding my position together with tactics. If I don't have any of this, then I am losing d6 and e5 and everything goes."

34 Rg3 takes away those tactics, preserves f2 and as showed by <Boomie> even is elastic enough to allow a switch back to the a file and protect laterally with Ra2 because of the insecure rook on c8.

Even in a lost position though, it is amazing how much Caruana saw, and he deserves credit for setting up his miraculous escape.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WinKing: With all the side variations this game could have been analyzed for hours in the video. GM Caruana is a cool customer & seems very mature for being so young. Thanks for sharing the video with us <Lupara>. I'm sure we will be seeing a lot more from these youngsters(Hou & Fabiano) in the near future.
Mar-15-12  galdur: The photographer catches a nice moment. She´s detemined, he´s pretty nonchalant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: You'd think Carauna would know White always moves first.
Mar-15-12  galdur: OCF, good point but the clock is on her. I´m not sure about the etiquette of adjusting your pieces after you hit the clock which may explain that stern look.
Mar-15-12  King Death: <galdur: ...I´m not sure about the etiquette of adjusting your pieces after you hit the clock which may explain that stern look.>

This was always considered very poor form when I was playing.

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